Canada Economic Development funding cuts to leave thousands of young entrepreneurs without the support to succeed.
Montreal, June 13, 2008 – The Minister of Canada Economic Development for the Quebec region, Jean-Pierre Blackburn, recently announced funding cuts that threaten the existence of the Youth Employment Services (YES) Entrepreneurship Program. The effect of the thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs who rely on YES’ English-language support services will be devastating. The ripple effect on the Quebec economy will be no less tragic.
According to Harold Simpkins, president of the YES board, the funding cuts will make it impossible for YES to continue to provide services to thousands of entrepreneurs who get their businesses up and running, hire staff and contribute to the tax base. “This is a successful program for a clientele that no one else but us serves. If we cannot provide this service, these people will fall through the cracks and the economy will suffer as a result,” Simpkins says. “This money is not a cost at all; it is an investment that provides a good return on so many levels to our governments. It is ironic that our provincial government and other funders recognize this, while the federal government intends to leave us in the lurch.”
YES is the only English-language not-for-profit organization in Quebec that provides direct support services to all entrepreneurs. The organization is an integral part of the Quebec fabric and, through unique and highly sought-after programs, YES is a major contributor to the ongoing vitality of the English-speaking community. The network of supporters has included the federal and provincial governments as well as local universities, corporations, the media and individuals who contribute time and money to the organization.
YES would not have been able to build, grow and maintain the Entrepreneurship Program without the support of Canada Economic Development (CED). The annual $250,000 in funding is essential to keeping the Program alive and growing. And it’s at the heart YES’ ability to consistently secure the support of volunteers whose contribution in terms of hours has a value of over $185,000 a year.
Youth Employment Services provides English-language services to help Quebecers find employment and start businesses. The Entrepreneurship program features one-on-one counseling and coaching, evening workshops, access to funding for small businesses, conferences, and a resource library. The organization has more than 700 volunteers and sees more than 2,800 clients a year, some thousand of whom are involved in one or more phases of starting a business with the help of Youth Employment Services.
For further information, please contact:
Board President, Youth Employment Services
John Aylen Communications
514-878-9788 ext. 302